It was a beautiful clear night and the full moon shone down on her, colouring her dark hair a shade of silver. She would often walk alone at night, the dark and the quiet calmed her, kept her mind from becoming too busy, too full of the things that worried her.
She slipped through the park, it was nearly midnight and the drunks had gone home. She had the park to herself.
Sure, people would be worried when they discovered her gone, her mother would panic and call the police.
But it didn't matter – this night was for her.
She slipped into the cold waters of the lake, the moonlight had turned it into a mirror and her entry cast ripples from shore to shore. She wasn't bothered by the stones on the bottom of the lake as she continued to wade out. She had kept her shoes on.
Finding the depth she started to swim – strong powerful strokes. Her muscles, initially frozen by the waters of the lake, began to warm. She was alone in the dark, water below her, the moon above.
She had escaped from the house, her mother had locked the door but she had watched her as she hid the key. Tonight her search for death would be fulfilled.
She ran to the lake, it was peaceful here – no-one would interrupt her, no-one could stop her as she ended her pain.
She ran into the water – if she swam out to the middle she could simply let go and drift down to the bottom where she could let her lifeless body lie.
She was a princess. All princesses need a challenge, they need a knight in shining armour to save them. If she swam out to the island in the middle of the lake someone would come and save her.
She needed saving.
She didn't know why – She just wanted a swim.
It was after midnight and we'd been called to a woman who was swimming in the lake, the parks police in one of their final rounds of the night had spotted her. They'd pulled her out and wrapped her in a blanket. She wasn't saying much but they managed to find her mother who let them know that she had 'mental health problems'.
I asked the mother about her daughter's mental health problem, she couldn't tell me what the doctors had diagnosed. The patient just sat there, dripping wet. I asked her why she had been swimming in the lake at night.
She never answered me.
I'll never know.